French companies in Georgia employ nearly 18,000 people through their investments, according to data compiled in May and released recently by the French Embassy in Washington.
The economic department at the embassy mixed U.S. government stats and corporate data into a state-by-state analysis of the French “economic footprint” in the U.S. The effort seems aimed at bringing home the vitality of the bilateral relationship for state and local leaders.
Among the findings: French companies have a stock of $251 billion in the United States, supporting more than 590,600 jobs overall as America’s fifth largest foreign investor. The bilateral trade relationship totals more than $100 billion. French companies invest more than $7 billion in research and development. accounting for 12 percent of all R&D investment in the U.S. That fact weighs heavily on programming for France-Atlanta, a two-week series of events launched at Georgia Tech eight years ago.
In Georgia, a more precise number of jobs based on French investment was 17,700. In addition, bilateral trade topped $2.6 billion, with the state running a large trade deficit. Exports of Georgia products like planes, electronics, chemicals and peanuts are $568 million, about a quarter of the value of the state’s purchases from France. Top imports include French chemicals, transportation equipment, machinery and more. Read the document here
In the Southeast (minus Florida), only South Carolina had more people employed by French firms, with 19,300 in part thanks to a large manufacturing presence headlined by tire maker Michelin.
It’s not a pioneering study: France is following the lead of many nations, including Sweden, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, the Netherlands in quantifying how much its bilateral ties are worth to the state.
But the figures do illustrate the value of an often-overlooked economic relationship between the U.S. and the world’s sixth largest economy and a staunch U.S. ally —and at a time when their new presidents seem to be establishing a rapport.
French companies overlaid on a map of Georgia reveal that the state is home to a wide cross section of industry, from drug-maker Sanofi and animal health giant Merial to aerospace firms Zodiac and Airbus, which recently announced the it would put the headquarters of its new drone intelligence unit in Atlanta.
To learn more about the French-Georgia relationship, visit www.globalatlanta.com/france or read the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s France connection document.
More state fact sheets can be found at the full embassy report here.